Category Archives: Challenges

Third Quarter 2014 Summation

Here is an abstract of my literary doings during the third quarter of 2014.

Books Read

July 2014
The Awakening of Miss Prim, by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera – 7/8/2014
Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg – 7/10/2014
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Book 5, Book 6) – 7/17/2014
My Loving Vigil Keeping, by Carla Kelly – 7/21/2014
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt – 7/28/2015
How To Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran – 7/31/2014

August 2014
The Color of Water, by James McBride – 8/5/2014
The World’s Strongest Librarian, by Josh Hanagarne – 8/12/2014
Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson (Audio) – 8/13/2014
The Children Act, by Ian McEwan – 8/17/2014
Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson (Audio) – 8/21/2014
Cut Me Free, by J.R. Johansson – 8/22/2012

September 2014
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (Audio) – 9/5/2014
Hansel & Gretel, by Neil Gaiman – 9/8/2014
Maus, by Art Spiegelman – 9/17/2014
Maus II, by Art Spiegelman – 9/17/2014
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier – 9/22/2014
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer – 9/23/2014
The Babysitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea, by Raina Tegemeier – 9/30/2014

Third Quarter Total = 19
Year-to-Date Total = 43

I finished The Lord of the Rings this quarter! And I am working, ever so slowly, on The Goldfinch, which is why my reading of late has been limited to mostly graphic novels and book club selections. I’m on track to land somewhere between 50 and 75 books for the year, which works for me.

Book Club

I was a better book club member this quarter!

My neighborhood book club took its annual July hiatus and then read The Color of Water and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind in August and September respectively. And I read them both! They were both excellent and outside of what we usually read. Score.

The Third Thursday Book Club had a theme, instead of a specific book selection, for July of fairy tale retellings. For my part, I read several of the Grimm’s fairy tales as retold by Philip Pullman. We read The World’s Strongest Librarian in August and had the author, local librarian Josh Hanagarne, come to our meeting! I reread the book in preparation. In September, we tackled our first graphic novel, Maus I, and I not only read it, I read the second book, Maus II.

I hope I can keep up this book club momentum during the last quarter of the year. We have some great books coming up.

Challenges

No challenge progress to report this quarter, though I have been working through this year’s Pulitzer winner for fiction, The Goldfinch. I’ll at least have that to report next quarter.

The Pulitzer Project – 12/87
The Printz Project – 9/15 (+9 honor books)
The Newbery Project – 27/93 (+13 honor books)

Third Quarter Highlights

That’s it. That’s what happened in the third quarter of 2014. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog!

Looking Ahead

Here are the things I’m hoping to get to in the fourth quarter of 2014:

  • Book club selections, as always! These will include The Graveyard Book, The Jungle Book, Unbroken, Longing for Home, The Catcher in the Rye, and Pope Joan. Several of these have been on my list for some time.
  • Finishing The Goldfinch! I’m about 83% of the way done, so I should be able to mark it off soon.
  • Read whichever book wins the Booker prize on October 14, 2014. Because the Booker winner almost always gets a place in the Tournament of Books, I want to tackle it early this year.

What are you looking forward to reading in the next few months?

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R.I.P. IX

September 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014

Can it possibly be that time of year again? It is upon us: fall leaves, pumpkin patches, and the annual R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge hosted (for the ninth time!) by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

This is my sixth year participating in R.I.P. And I am excited to visit or revisit some of the following books:

  • The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
  • Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
  • Hansel & Gretel, by Neil Gaiman
  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (reread)
  • And hopefully a little Edgar Allen Poe

Here are my previous R.I.P. lists: III, IV, V, VI, VII

I’ll hoping to get to two books this year, so I’m joining Peril the Second, with the possibility of joining the Peril of the Group Read for The Haunting of Hill House hosted by the Estella Society.

RIP IX Peril the Second

Are you R.I.P.ing this year? What books are you thinking about reading?

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Second Quarter 2014 Summation

Here is an abstract of my literary doings during the second quarter of 2014.

Books Read

April 2014
Dangerous, by Shannon Hale – 4/1/2014
The Artist’s Way for Parents, by Julia Cameron – 4/2/2014
Midwinterblood, by Marcus Sedgwick – 4/15/2014
The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare – 4/23/2014
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl (Readaloud)- 4/29/2014

May 2014
Deadline, by Mira Grant – 5/4/2014
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Book 1, Book 2) – 5/31/2014

June 2014
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo (Readaloud) – 6/1/2014
We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart – 6/7/2014
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien – 6/30/2014

Second Quarter Total = 10
Year-to-Date Total = 24

My reading slowed down a bit this quarter (compare the ten from this quarter with the fourteen from the first quarter). I think the slow down was due in part to my reading of The Lord of the Rings and in part to a small reading slump. I am pretty far off of my goal to read 75 books this year and will likely end up at around 50. And that’s okay with me.

Book Club

Unfortunately, I have to report that I have continued to be a bit of a book club slacker in this quarter.

My local book club read The Taming of the Shrew, The Gift of Fear, and North and South. I did read The Taming of the Shrew and enjoyed it (but holy sexism, Batman!). I started The Gift of Fear and just wasn’t feeling it. (It wasn’t a very big hit with the others either.) And I had read North and South with my other book club a few years ago and did not reread it.

The Third Thursday Book Club read The End of Your Life Book Club, Wintergirls, and The False Princess. I read and quite liked The End of Your Life Book Club, and it was a great discussion book. I had previously read Wintergirls and did not read it again (and the club found it overall too depressing). I did not read The False Princess and had to miss the meeting. Sigh. I still really love going, even when I fail to get to the book.

Challenges

Hey! I have challenge progress to report! I read Midwinterblood, by Marcus Sedgwick, this year’s Printz winner. I will post a review of that eventually. And, I read Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo, to my daughter. It is a Newbery Honor book. At four, my daughter didn’t get all of it, but she loved Winn-Dixie.

The Pulitzer Project – 12/87
The Printz Project9/15 (+9 honor books)
The Newbery Project – 27/93 (+13 honor books)

Second Quarter Highlights

That’s it. That’s what happened in the second quarter of 2014. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog!

Looking Ahead

Here are the things I’m hoping to get to in the third quarter of 2014:

  • Book club selections, again! These will include The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, The Color of Water, by James McBride, and Maus, by Art Spiegelman. I’m really looking forward to all three.
  • Finishing The Lord of the Rings! I’m very excited about this impending accomplishment.
  • Lots and lots of books by Utah authors for Utah Book Month in August. In particular, I am planning on spotlighting Utah author Katharine Coles and will try to read a poetry collection and a novel by her.
  • After all of the above, I plan to go wherever the bookish winds take me.

What are you looking forward to reading in the next few months?

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First Quarter 2014 Summation

Here is an abstract of my literary doings during the first quarter of 2014.

Books Read

January 2014
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion – 1/6/2014
Long Division, by Kiese Laymon – 1/22/2014
How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid – 1/23/2014
The Son, by Philipp Meyer – 1/30/2014

February 2014
Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen – 2/2/2014
The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride (Audio) – 2/4/2014
The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri – 2/18/2014
A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki – 2/26/2014

March 2014
The Dinner, by Herman Koch (Audio) – 3/4/2014
Hill William, by Scott McClanahan – 3/7/2014
At Night We Walk in Circles, by Daniel Alarcon – 3/10/2014
The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson – 3/20/2014
The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe – 3/24/2014

Year-to-Date Total = 13

Nine of these were contestants in the Tournament of Books. I enjoyed each of the books I’ve read so far in 2014, with the exception of Hill William. With thirteen books read so far, I’m a little off of my goal to read 75 books this year, but I’m good with it. I’m finishing a book a week, which isn’t bad. Not bad at all.

Book Club

I’ve been a bit of a slacker with book club reading so far this year. I’m pledging here and now to do better.

My local book club read Blink, And Then There Were None, and Unbroken. I read exactly none of them, though I did read Blink many years ago. Overall, the book club seemed to enjoy each of these selections.

The Third Thursday Book Club read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, The Forgotten Garden, and The Secret Countess. Again, I read exactly none of them, though I read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet several years ago. Overall, there seemed to be mixed feelings on each of these, with Hotel probably having the most success with our group.

Challenges

No challenge progress this quarter, though I did buy the new Printz and Newbery (and Caldecott) winners. That counts for something, right? Also, I’m hopeful that the Tournament of Books continues its trend of predicting the Pulitzer winner and that, like last year, I’ll have already read the fiction winner when it is announced later this week..

The Pulitzer Project – 12/86
The Printz Project – 8/14 (+7 honor books)
The Newbery Project – 25/92 (+12 honor books)

First Quarter Highlights

That’s it. That’s what happened in the first quarter of 2014. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog!

Looking Ahead

Look! I’m trying something new. I’ve been inspired by many of you that take the opportunity to set some loose goals as to the coming months. Here are the things I’m hoping to get to in the second quarter of 2014:

  • Book club selections, of course! These will include The Gift of Fear, The Taming of the Shrew, and The End of Your Life Book Club (which I already finished!).
  • Life After Life. I’ve owned this for months but haven’t read it yet. With it making it to the finals of the Tournament of Books, I really need to read it. And soon.
  • A Madness of Angels. I’ve been promising Jenny for almost a year that I would read this one.
  • Whatever looks good. With so much of my reading being comsumed by the Tournament of Books list, I’m looking forward to just scouring my shelves, the bookstore shelves, and the library shelves for whatever looks good.

What are you looking forward to reading?

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2013 Summation

It’s time again to run the annual numbers. I can’t believe another year is done and that this is the conclusion of my sixth year of blogging. My how time flies. Without further ado, here are those lovely numbers.

BOOKS READ

Total Books Read = 64
Average Books Read Per Month = 5.33
Best Reading Months = March, October, November (8 books each)
Worst Reading Months = April, May, July, September (3 books each)

Pages
Total Pages Read = 21,593
Average Pages Per Book = 337.39
Average Pages Read Per Day = 59.16
Average Pages Read Per Month = 1,799.42
Total Chunksters (450+ pages) Read = 9

Genres
Total Nonfiction Books Read = 10
Total Adult Fiction Books Read = 29
Total New Adult Fiction Books Read = 3
Total YA Fiction Books Read = 12
Total Middle Grade Fiction Books Read = 10

Categories
Total Audio Books “Read” = 19
Total Ebooks Read = 14
Total Books Reread = 9
Total Review Books Read = 11
Total Library Books Read = 29
Total Books Read for Book Club = 12

Authors
Total Books By Women = 43
Total Books By Men = 21
Total New-to-Me Authors = 36
Total Utah Authors = 6
(Brodie Ashton, Julianne Donaldson, Sara Zarr, David Farland, Josh Hanagarne, Jennifer A. Nielsen)
Repeat Authors = 13
(J.K. Rowling (5); Rainbow Rowell (2); Richard Peck (2); Jane Austen (2))

Ownership
Total Books Read that I Own = 34
Total Books Read that I Don’t Own = 30

Ratings
[rating:5] Ratings = 15
[rating:4] Ratings = 35
[rating:3] Ratings = 13
[rating:2] Ratings = 1
[rating:1] Ratings = 0

CHALLENGES

The Pulitzer Project – 12/86 [1 winner this year]
The Printz Project – 8/14 (+8 Honor books) [no progress this year]
The Newberry Project – 27/92 (+12 Honor books) [2 winners this year; 2 winners reread this year]

MY THOUGHTS

  • I didn’t quite make my goal of reading 75 books this year. But I had a great year of reading.
  • I “read” the same number of audio books this year as I did last year. I’m still enjoying the audio books quite a lot.
  • But my book club numbers were down from last year. I think that is likely because I had previously read many of the selections this year and did not reread them.
  • One semi-major shift in my reading habits is that I have been giving up my compulsion to own every book I read. I used the library a lot more this year. I can feel a shift toward ebooks and borrowing and giving away. I’m running out of shelves!
  • And finally, again, you are all highlights of the year. Your posts and your enthusiasm for reading continue to buoy me up.

2013 was a great year! I enjoyed reading with all of you. Have a happy new year.